- the loop formed by the pile of a fabric when left uncut.
- Also called terry cloth. a pile fabric, usually of cotton, with loops on both sides, as in a Turkish towel.
- made of such a fabric: a terry bathrobe.
- having the pile loops uncut: terry velvet.
Origin of terry
First recorded in 1775–85; perhaps variant of terret
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for terry-cloth
- an uncut loop in the pile of towelling or a similar fabric
- a fabric with such a pile on both sides
- (as modifier)a terry towel
C18: perhaps variant of terret
- Dame Ellen. 1847–1928, British actress, noted for her Shakespearean roles opposite Sir Henry Irving and for her correspondence with George Bernard Shaw
- (John) Quinlan (ˈkwɪnlən). born 1937, British architect, noted for his works in neoclassical style, such as the Richmond riverside project (1984)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for terry-cloth
"loop raised in pile-weaving, left uncut," 1784, possibly an alteration of French tiré "drawn," from past participle of tirer "draw out" (cf. German gezogener Sammet "drawn velvet").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper